AIIPOIP | Geopolitical Challenges and Transnational Human Security Threats in Indo-Pacific: Scope of India-Australia Partnership

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AIIPOIP | Geopolitical Challenges and Transnational Human Security Threats in Indo-Pacific: Scope of India-Australia Partnership

Event Start Date:
December 12, 2023
Event End Date:
December 12, 2023
Event Venue:


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Indo-Pacific is emerging as a crucial geopolitical hotspot due to its economic and strategic significance in today’s international politics. The Indo-Pacific region is a growing priority for India and Australia, as emphasised in their respective national strategies, due to the growing economic and geopolitical relevance of the region. Economically, the Indo-Pacific is significant for trade connectivity, the blue economy,  market segmentation between the two countries, and strategically, the rising role of middle powers, minilateral participation with small islands, and maritime security of the region. 

The dynamic changes in the Indo-Pacific region, such as Chinese strategic posture in the region, debt trap politics, disruptive trade routes, and human and climate security concerns in the region, demand active India-Australia cooperation in the region. The island states in the Indo-Pacific region have faced increasing security threats from multiple fronts in recent years, including large scale military buildup, human trafficking, illegal migration, maritime border conflicts, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. As Australia’s immediate region of strategic interest, Australia has a strong interest in stable and prosperous island countries with well-governed maritime spaces, with the partnership of India.



  • Shared Interests: India and Australia share interests in ensuring stability, security, and sustainability in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Stability and Security: Both nations aim to maintain territorial and maritime stability, prevent external interference, and secure sea lanes for all. Assistance to small island states is crucial for territorial security.
  • Sustainability: Addressing overexploitation of resources is a joint effort to combat climate change impacts on both humans and ecosystems.
  • Maritime Security Challenges: Shift from conventional to non-conventional challenges, such as maritime terrorism and illegal activities, demands collective defence capabilities.
  • Human Security Framework: The framework, established 20-25 years ago, emphasises individual-level security, including gender impacts and socio-cultural perspectives, which is crucial in the context of escalating resource competition in the Indo-Pacific.
  • QUAD’s Role: The flexibility of QUAD allows dynamic discussions and proactive approaches to security challenges in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Australia’s Contribution: Australia’s economic strength, diplomatic influence, and strategic posture can benefit India’s development, particularly through investments in defence and collaboration on various fronts.
  • Bilateral Cooperation: Strengthening bilateral ties is essential, with focus areas including maritime awareness, disaster relief, and strategic and economic collaboration for a free and open Indo-Pacific.



Ms Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul General in Chennai

Ms Kirlew is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She has previously served overseas in Beijing, New Delhi and Cairo. In Canberra she has worked in a range of Indo-Pacific focused foreign and economic policy roles within the department, including on Australia’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific and geo-economic issues. Ms Kirlew holds a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of London; and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney.




Prof Ian Hall, Professor of International Relations, Griffith University, Australia

Ian Hall is a Professor of International Relations. He is also an Academic Fellow of the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne. Prior to his appointment at Griffith, he taught at the University of St Andrews, the University of Adelaide, and the Australian National University. He served as a co-editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs between 2018 and 2023. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian War College, Nanyang Technological University, and the University of Warwick. Prof. Hall’s research focuses on India’s international relations and Indo-Pacific affairs. His research has been supported by multiple grants from the Australian Research Council, the Department of Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. He is a co-lead of the Blue Security DFAT Regional Maritime Exchange program directed by A/Prof. Bec Strating at La Trobe University (2022-24).




Vice Adm Muralidharan, AVSM & BAR, NM (Retd.)

Vice Admiral M P Muralidharan, retired in February 2013 as the 19th Director General of the Indian Coast Guard. A specialist in Navigation and Direction and a Post Graduate in Defence Studies, the Admiral in a career spanning close to four decades in the Indian Navy, has held several key Operational and Staff appointments, including command of three warships. As Flag Officer, he commanded the Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area, was the first Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy and Chief of Personnel of the Navy. Post-retirement, the Admiral was appointed as a Member of the Armed Forces Tribunal at its Regional Bench at Kochi, an appointment equivalent to a sitting Judge of a High Court. During his tenure of four years, the Admiral authored nearly 500 judgements. The Admiral, a keen student of Strategic and Defence-related Issues with a special focus on maritime affairs, is a member of various strategic study societies and institutions. He is a regular contributor to professional journals and a speaker and panellist at various seminars and conferences.